A Travellerspoint blog

Koh Phangan

all seasons in one day 29 °C
View The honeymoon part 2 on Gem-Leight's travel map.

The trip from Koh Samui was a couple of hours by boat which was one of the shortest trips to our next destination so far. Our hotel offered free transfers to the hotel so we arranged for them to pick us up from the pier. The journey from the pier to the hotel was about 20mins and we was really happy with our new poolside home for the next 7 days. The beach was less than 100 yards from our front door and it was really nice. At one corner of the beach we found a restaurant with the most amazing views of the beach (you did have to climb about 70 steps to get it though) but it was always worth it when you got to the top.

We rented out a motorbike to go and explore the island which was really good fun again and cost 200THB for the day. We set out from the hotel and headed north to Koh Ma where there was a beach which was not the cleanest but the water was about as clear as it gets and you could walk out to an island in the sea which was cool. There were people snorkeling everywhere and you could see why with the clear sea. We then carried on north to Ao Chalukhum which was alot cleaner and the water was equally as clear and it was a pretty cool beach too with not many people about. We then decided to head back to Thongsala pier as we needed to sort our transport back to Bangkok and judging by the fact that over 20.000 people had arrived to the island for the New Years Eve full moon party we couldn't leave it until last minute. On the Journey back to the pier we came across a very good attempt to create an old English pub which they called the Mason Arms. We couldn't resist stopping for some light lunch, I had fresh doorstop chicken, mayo, salad sandwich and Gem had doorstop BLT (we both really enjoyed it and would recommend it). We then jumped back on the bike to the pier to sort our transfer back to Bangkok. I decided that we would only take the government buses as the other bus trips have been such a mess each time and brought what we thought was 2no VIP seats on the government bus back to Bangkok for 1010 THB each. Just to confirm what VIP means here, firstly you get a seat that reclines and a seat number, secondly your bus should have air-con and lastly they give you warm milk and water to help with the journey.

New years eve started with a gala night at the hotel which was a mix of food and gin (with a litttle bit of redbull or coke). We had a random selection of nationalities staying at the hotel ranging from from Swiss to Turkish to Swedish to Welsh, luckily for us they all spoke English so the gala was good fun. We left for Haad Rin beach at around 10 ish on the back of a pick up truck, the journey was like being on an old rollercoaster ride up one huge hill, down another. We finally hit Haad Rin beach and it was completely bonkers with fluorescenct colours, paint & buckets of what ever spirits you fancy everywhere (it was like heaven). Gem went to the lady's room so I decided to have some fluorescent artwork drawn on my face and arm, when Gem came back she kindly told me it looked crap and she could have done better. It was a wicked night followered by a wicked hang over the next day where we didnt make it out the room other than to grab a non alcoholic drink and some comfort food.

The last 3 days in Phangan brought rain, rain and more rain along with powercuts.

If we could sum up our visit to Koh Phangan in 5 or so words/statements.
1) Rain, sun, rain, sun
2) Buckets
3) The best onion rings ever (with a chilli sauce)
4) really cool atmosphere
5) would 100% go back

Posted by Gem-Leight 06:29 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Koh Samui

all seasons in one day 26 °C
View The honeymoon part 2 on Gem-Leight's travel map.

We arrived from Phuket over 3 hours later than expected inline with all the other journey's so far, we have come to accept that Thailand doesn't work on the time as every one else they work it in Thai time you get there when you get there! We arrived at the pier and again took the easy option of a taxi as it was raining and starting to get dark and all we wanted was to check into our Christmas hotel ASAP. We arrived in lamai following our 30 min taxi ride and turned up a steep hill to our hotel the Virinda Gardens. We were both really happy with hotel and room 19, I had asked the hotel to decorate the room a as surprise for Gem (extra brownie points for me ha ha)

On the second day we hired a white Honda motorbike with a pink helmet and a white one at a cost of 200THB per day (i will let you make up your mind on which colour I wore). I was slightly nervous about riding it with Gem on the back as it has been at least 7 years since I last rode one. Gem definitely didn't help with her constant commentary about cars, bikes, pot holes, sand, upcoming corners and everything else she could see as a potential hazard. We decided to take the bike and visit Na maung saffari park which had two waterfalls and obviously in Thai fashion had uncaged tigers, leopard's and elephants. We really enjoyed the day with my highlight being trying to climb the 80m high waterfall in the beautiful sunshine.

On the way back from one of our beach days we climbed up the never ending stair case back to the hotel which involved at least one stop for a break as it was like a full work out at the gym. As we approach the last step I saw a moving object on the pathway and to my horror it was my first experience with a wild snake, I have to admit I turned into a big girl's blouse and with the size of it you will see why. Gem will tell you it was more like a worm but I strongly disagree. After ten minutes of begging, the snake left us unharmed and we could finally go back to our room.

The weather throughout our stay was a real a mix of sunny & tropical storms (not what we hoped for)

As Christmas day approached we went to Tesco for our weekly shop and to get some presents, some wrapping paper followed by the best KFC ever.

On Christmas eve the hotel put on a gala meal along with some shows and pretty impressive fire dancing. They also cooked a big turkey which was a plus although the 'gravy' was very much missed by both of us. Christmas morning was a weird feeling as we both missed being at home and the tropical rain didn't help us with spending it on the beach as we had envisaged! But Santa did bring me some new flip flops, some sweets & choc chip biscuits. To be honest it just felt like any other day in Koh Samui we have had so far so we just drank and played some pool in the local bars.
Looking forward to Christmas dinner next year already!

If we could sum up our visit to Koh Sumui in 5 or so words/statements.
1) very quiet
2) good/clean hotel
3) McDonald's on Christmas day (Gems choice)
4) huge killer snakes
5) would go back

Posted by Gem-Leight 22:24 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

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